With the all-new Subaru Forester being revealed later this month there are rumours out of Japan that Subaru will drop the Forester XT…

SUBARU TEASED THE ALL-NEW Forester earlier this week and now rumours out of Japan suggest the turbocharged Forester XT will be dropped. Here’s what we know. The engine of choice for the Forester going forward will be the 2.5-litre four-cylinder that has recently been tweaked for the refreshed Outback and the same with the CVT. Some markets could previously choose a manual transmission, but it looks like Subaru will drop that globally and go with a CVT-only approach.

A Practical Motoring contact in Japan says they’ve heard confirmation that the FA20 turbocharged four-cylinder previously used for the Forester XT has been dropped. Meaning, if you want to turbocharged Forester XT then you’d better get to your local Subaru dealer pronto. That said, the same contact suggested low-blow turbo engines Subaru is working on could eventually find their way back into the Forester but it won’t be the same.

And, then we come to the much-talked-about hybrid Forester. According to our information, it’s coming but it’ll be here a little while after the regular Forester, and whether we’ll see it in Australia remains to be seen. Subaru is staying tight-lipped on all details surrounding the new Forester.

What we do believe, though, is the hybrid system will borrow heavily from Toyota’s hybrid platform (Toyota is a shareholder in Subaru) and that the petrol engine will be a 2.0-litre four-cylinder.

Thanks to the new platform under the Forester, Practical Motoring’s been told the new Forester will be 10-20mm longer and 20mm wider. Ground clearance is expected to stay the same.


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  1. No turbo 2.5L. That’s a shame. Subaru should introduce a turbo 3.6L flat six for the Forester and Liberty.

    Think about it Subaru. With a turbo 3.6L flat six in the Liberty you’d have a car to directly challenge the new Kia Stinger. And with the demise of the SSV and XR8 you would have a car that would be seen as a good replacement for these two and the XR6T.

    1. Are you BLIND. They sell the 3.6 flat six in the Liberty STILL! the MY18 Liberty 3.6 is a gem! Go check one out.

        1. Yes Baz. Top narks there mate. Glad to see you’re EYE SIGHT is working perfectly! 😉

          I’d like to see Subaru add a turbo or two to the 3.6L Liberty to up the power levels to those of the Kia Stinger.

    2. Problem with that is it would but the Liberty 3.6T at the top of the Subaru performance chart and that would dramatically drop sales for the STi and knock it back for the top which I highly doubt they would want to do so unless they release an STi pushing 4-500hp and the 3.6T is in the 350-400 range I don’t see that happening.

  2. Its about cash flow and business profit I suspect. The XT would have made up a small percentage of sales. Not enough to justify its existence. Even though by all reports the 2lt turbo is a fine motor. For example when I bought my 2.5s moving up to the XT with the same level of finish was almost $10,000 extra. The price gap was to great.

    1. Thought I’d read elsewhere the 1.6 Turbo petrol would be the only engine with the diesel under consideration for dropping. Could be interested in updating from a MY 2015 2.5si if there is a worthwhile improvement in the ride (17″ wheels) which I think is its main shortcoming.
      Separately I wish testers would always specify the RON rating of the fuel required. A car requiring 98 RON effectively adds quite considerably to cost compared to the same consumption of 91 RON.

  3. ONce a nice car, Forrester is a sad joke and soon to be saddled with disgusting CVT only and NA rubbish engine, how sad.

    1. The only Manual has been in the 2.0D which is no longer, and the gutless 2.0 litre petrol, so you are not missing anything. Expect a 2.4 Turbo engine from Ascent.

  4. I’d say expect a 7 Seat Option. PM, the 2.4 Turbo from the Ascent is a shoe in to be the engine of choice. The 2.5 litre is too old.

  5. It’s in the 2017 Subaru Global annual report that commencing 2019 they are rolling out downsized turbo engines across their range. They’ll move to having the 1.6T?

  6. Currently the only engines so far confirmed for here are the 2.0D a 2.0 petrol the 2.5 petrol and the 1.6 Turbo petrol may make it into the Forester replacing the 2.5i engine. The diesel will only remain until the next update due in mid to late 2020, when production of that engine is expected to cease completely. Subaru will not continue investing in diesel technology. As for the hybrid, it’s a possibility, but not likely here for a while yet.

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